Detroit Tool Metal Products of Lebanon Missouri engaged in the contract Stamping and fabricating market; they are able to service this market by utilizing Laser Cutters, Press Brakes, large Stamping Presses and Coil Handling Equipment. Everything they do utilizes almost every part of their manufacturing process. Flexibility is their key to success and in today’s highly competitive market, contracts are won and lost measured in fractions of a dollar.
When faced with the decision to modernize their pressroom with new equipment, a team was formed to investigate the possibilities. What are our needs? and What is our budget? were their first questions. With the knowledge that in today’s marketplace modern equipment is essential to stay ahead of the pack, the management team began over two years ago to investigate the many Press Feed Systems available and how they would benefit Detroit Tool. In a Job Shop environment, “You never know what is coming at you next” said a Senior Manufacturing Manager. Sifting through the many manufacturers and types of Press Feeding Equipment, they came to the Rowe Division of Formtek Maine as one of the leading contenders.
At Rowe, a “total system approach” was addressed with the customer instead of individual equipment. From Coil to Press was the focus of the program and was proven to be a winner. The material requirements were .165” @ 50” and .250” @ 20” in width and because of the available coil handling capacity, it was decided that a maximum of 10,000 lbs. would be used. When it came time to choose the direction they would go, it was decided by the Manufacturing Manager and Team to purchase two complete 50-inch Press Feed Lines from the Rowe Division of Formtek Maine. Each line would be off-set from each other, allowing for smooth material flow. “With both Feed Lines the same, it will be easier to train operators that can be utilized on both lines depending on the work load,” commented a Team Member.
Their production line starts with the Coil Car carrying material to the Reel. The V-Net is lined with Micarta Facing to prevent marking or damaging the coils. The car is set on tracks that are connected to the Reel base, allowing the Car to be in constant alignment.
Training and Set-up Simplified:
As one of the operators commented during start-up and training “The Straightener seems to be the place to be during set-up, Everything you need to know is on the screen!”
What he was referring to was the Consolidated System Control Package that centralizes the equipment settings before the looping area, providing for an Operator Friendly Package!
A large six-inch Digital Touch Screen Display is mounted on the side of the Straightener and is where the operator stands during set-up. All of the push button controls that operate the Coil Car, Coil Arm, Threading Table, Entry Coil Breaker Rolls and Exit Pinch Rolls are located on the side of the Touch Screen.
Everything that you need to know about where the material is going next is shown on the thread-up instruction screen. In addition to written instructions, equipment layout and material are shown at each step. This is extremely useful in training an inexperienced operator or as a handy reference guide for an experienced one. Several Diagnostic Screens monitor the functions of the line including the highly desirable safety feature of alerting the operator to low or loss of air pressure, locking out the set-up and run modes of the line.
Powered Straightener Settings Simplified:
Because the System Control Package monitors the functions of the line it also provides the operator with digital roll position readout. The roll adjustment push buttons are conveniently located right along side the digital touch screen. Roll position is monitored and with the Rowe Bank Adjust Straightener Head, which allows for simplified set-up. The operator looks at the Digital Screen and knows exactly when the material is positioned at the proper location. As one of the operators mentioned during the set-up and training phase, “If we follow the screens and prompts then all of the guess work is eliminated with these functions”.
What Detroit Tool received with the Consolidated System Control Package:
- Touch Screen Display, six-inch for easy viewing
- Thread-up and Set-up Instruction Manual
- Push Button Controls
- Air Solenoid Control Valves
- Fault and Function Diagnostic Screens
- Lubrication Schedule
- Coil Car Automatic Down and Out
Due to their need to manage a wide range of materials, a set of four (4) Entry Coil Breaker Rolls were used instead of the standard two entry pinch rolls. The Coil Breaker Rolls break the coil set in heaver gauge material allowing it to easily move into the straightener.
A Powered High Lift Head Adjustment was specified as an option allowing the rolls in the powered coil straightener to be thoroughly cleaned prior to running pre-painted material. This adjustment allows the top powered straightener head to move up a full six-inches and return to its original position, great for use with pre-painted product.
The Coil Car, Reel and Powered Coil Straightener are connected by Unitized Tie Bar Brackets allowing for simplified Installation and consequently the equipment is always in perfect alignment. This benefits Detroit Tool in that by utilizing the Coil Car, Reel and Straightener set-up time has been reduced by at least 30 percent over their old Feed Line.
Due to the wide variety of materials and thicknesses utilized by Detroit Tool, a looping pit was installed for both lines. This allows for a shorter overall line length, requiring no more floor space than was required for their old equipment. By specifying an AC Variable Frequency Drive (10-160 fpm) in the Powered Coil Straightener for rapid payout, a shorter loop area was possible.
From Coil to First Part is up to 75% faster than possible with the old line.
Using Rowe’s “From Coil to Press” philosophy, a Four Roll Servo Feed was chosen. This offers many advantages allowing material to go straight into the die, requiring less air pressure causing material marking and damage to be almost non-existent. An Anti-Back Roll was installed preventing the material from falling back into the looping pit during roll release.
As a Contract Stamper, the use of customer dies is common flexibility is a prime consideration. This was addressed by equipping both Feeds with Motorized Height Adjustment and Automatic Lock and Unlock; as a result change over time has been reduced dramatically.
The Indramat Control System handles communication between the Press and Press Control Systems using Industry Standard Serial Interfaces.
By carefully planning their requirements in partnership with Rowe Detroit Tool has measurably benefited from the many hours spent preparing for these upgrades to their Press Room. It is still to early to tell how much scrap savings they will achieve but with the speed and accuracy of the integration of each line, it will be noticeable.
Rowe Equipment Specialist, Application Engineer
1-800-247-2345 x 212